We, Team FIRED UP, the 8th class of Next Level Trainings’ Vision Impact Program (VIP) in Philadelphia, were charged with creating an impactful community service project. Our decision as a team was to stand for and support affirmation and opportunities of LGBTQ youth by supporting the Attic Youth Center in Philadelphia.

Coming out can be a tough time in a person's life, and often leaves people feeling alone, and lacking confidence. The Attic Youth Center supports LGBTQ youths transitioning to adulthood by offering vocational training, housing support and navigation, academic enrichment activities, mentorship, psychological counseling, support groups, job placement, job-ready clothing, dinners, and professional development trainings to schools and social services organizations on the best practices in serving LGBTQ youth. But perhaps most importantly, they offer a warm environment full of love, acceptance, and affirmation. The Attic is a place void of judgment and a space that nurtures an inner feeling of home and belonging; and what young adult couldn't use some belonging? No matter what an LGBTQ young person is going through or processing, The Attic Youth Center offers a life of abundance, love, acceptance, and prosperity. 

With the intention of creating peace, love, and harmony in our community, our team chose to support The Attic Youth Center and their mission to embrace and empower LGBTQ youths as they transition to adulthood. As our team rallied together and the more we learned about this organization, the stronger our vision became. The Attic’s mission and vision became our own. Our commitment to breaking the cycle of pre-judgement and exclusion became the source of our inspiration.

With a team of only 18 individuals (10 being students living in other cities across the country & 2 overseas from Canada & Abu Dhabi), we boldly declared to raise $45,000 in 30 days for The Youth Attic Center. We reached out to corporations, local businesses, family, and friends to support this cause. Our campaign reached as far as California, Canada & even the Middle East. No matter where any of us live, we continued to push until the very last second of our campaign.

We cooked meals at the Attic to provide food for the kids, we did an improvement project and collected tangible goods.

With only two hours until the campaign’s deadline, our team met our fundraising goal for a grand total of $45,847. In addition to raising funds for The Attic, our team spent over 800 volunteer hours working on this project, sourced over 1,000 tangible goods, and renovated the space to give it a fresh, modern feel.

Carrie Jacobs, Executive Director & Founder of The Attic Youth Center, emphasized the true impact of our team’s support:
To say that we are humbled and grateful for what Next Level has done is an understatement. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

We are elated about our results and still in awe of the difference we have made in such a short period of time. It is truly amazing what can happen when a team bands together to achieve a goal that changes the world forever.

From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank everyone who contributed to our campaign and supported us along the way. Thank you to Next Level Trainings’ leadership staff, coaches, and graduates, and the many donors from all walks of our lives. We are truly grateful for the lessons we have learned and the connections we created not only within our team but out in the world.